Gettin’ Things Moving – Indiana’s Mobility-Boosting Projects

Gettin’ Things Moving – Indiana’s Mobility-Boosting Projects

Several new construction projects are rolling throughout Indiana this summer that aim to boost our connectivity and economy by providing new logistics options. We’ve taken a close look at two of them; one opens a new entryway to Indiana for people from all over the world, and the other will connect about a quarter of the state capital’s job sector. Check out some of Indiana’s mobility-boosting projects!


Multiple Projects Taking Off at Gary/Chicago International

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Facility, $1 million

East Corporate Hanger, $1.3 million

Runway Improvements and Lights, $9.1 million

The Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) has taken significant steps to upgrade its facilities to compete on the world’s stage. Work recently concluded on a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility that is expected to increase the number of passengers that travel via GYY each year, provide new economic potential, and boost Northwest Indiana’s overall business profile.

GYY Customs Facility Exterior

The airport previously only had outgoing international flights, and incoming international flights had to go through customs at a different airport before arriving in Gary. The new customs facility allows airport users to fly into GYY from any destination in the world without having to stop elsewhere to clear customs, increasing the number of potential airport users.

The project took advantage of an underutilized portion of an existing building that is used to house the airport’s rescue and firefighting departments. LEE Companies was chosen to serve as the construction manager for the redevelopment, in part due to their long history with GYY and experience in retrofitting public buildings.

The building’s design, which was approved by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, includes pre and post processing areas, a general customs and border office, and specialized facilities designed to carry out the processes of the CBP. The total space that was repurposed encompasses approximately 2,500 square feet.

Aside from the new customs capabilities GYY now offers, several other major upgrades have taken place over the last few months. Earlier this spring, the airport authority announced that it will be establishing a new, $1.3 million corporate hanger that will eventually be leased by yet-to-be-named company tenant. This comes on the heels of the $3 million Corporate Flight Center project the airport completed near the end of last year and should be a complimentary addition to GYY’s business amenities.

Burling Builders, Inc. has been contracted to establish the new hangar. It will be built at the southeast end of Airport Road on land that’s ready for development.

“This is an exciting time at the airport as we continue to see major advances thanks to investments from the public and private sector. The airport is taking full advantage of these opportunities to grow and meet the needs of airport users,” said GYY Airport Authority Board Chairman Tim Fesko.

Late last year, one of the airport’s fixed-base operators, B. Coleman, opened a 40,000 square-foot hangar as part of the FBO’s $20 million investment to grow its footprint at the airport.

Earlier this year, Super Construction Co. Inc. began work on an $8 million improvement project for the airport’s runway, of which federal authorities are contributing 90 percent of the funding.

The rehabilitation project was critical to extending the lifespan of the runway and increasing weight limits to allow the airport to service bigger and heavier aircraft. The project team replaced aging asphalt with concrete and installed new storm drain piping.  In all, 73,577 square yards, or 15 acres, of new concrete were laid in just two weeks.

As for the new runway lights, Midwestern Electric is establishing a $1.1 million “medium approach light system with runway alignment indicator lights,” also known as a MALSR, that will enhance safety and give pilots greater visual information when performing landings. The FAA owns and operates the system. Once the MALSR is paired with the airport’s new precision-approach radar system, which was implemented earlier this year, it will provide GYY and pilots with a whole new level of usability and functionality.


$96+ Million – IndyGo’s Red Line

IndyGo – Broad Ripple Station

Now that $75 million in long-awaited federal funding has finally been approved by congress, construction has begun on the ambitious IndyGo Red Line project. The new route is expected to add vital components to Indianapolis’s connectivity portfolio and will eventually run from Westfield to Greenwood once all phases are complete; essentially right through the middle of the city.

The new line will connect neighborhoods, major employers, and several of the city’s most-visited cultural institutions, coming within a quarter mile of more than 50,000 residents and nearly 150,000 jobs. That’s amounts to about 25 percent of all the jobs in Marion County. Busses are planned to arrive at stops in ten-minute intervals and will run almost all day, every day of the week.

The first phase of construction will be 13.1 miles long and will run from Broad Ripple Village on the north side of the city down to the University of Indianapolis on the south side. A total of 27 new stations will be established during Phase 1 and new articulated electric buses will be added to IndyGo’s fleet. The anticipated costs of this first phase are expected to total roughly $46 million for the sitework and new canopy construction, which was about 3.5% below IndyGo’s estimates.

IndyGo – Red Line Phase 1 Construction Map

Contractors for the first phase of the project have already been selected. The site civil work including roadway and sidewalk construction will be carried out by Rieth-Riley Construction Company, Inc., and the station canopy construction and related buildout work will be done by FA Wilhelm Construction.

The $75 million in federal funding that was approved by congress earlier this year actually comes from two separate federal sources. $50 million was recommended by the Federal Transportation Authority and the remaining $25 million came to Indy from a Small Starts Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The first phase of construction is expected to be finished and open for service in 2019. The project is an element of the Marion County Transit Plan.

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